BRINGING A STORY TO LIFE: WRITING IN REVERSE

Going forward in reverse”

                           – Ozzy Osbourne No More Tears

It isn’t unusual for me to start writing the next novel in my head even as I’m finishing the current project.  What is interesting is that this time I’m writing the novels of a series in reverse.  I’m finishing the first draft of The Day Before and while I have another one planned as the next project my mind is working on a book scheduled for release four books from now.

Maybe It’s the Series.  As a series Dragon Core has always been a bit of an adventure.  

Albeit a fun one.

Old Is New.  It’s a reconceptualizing of a 3-book series I wrote in tenth grade.  Interestingly, I still have those files but never once looked at them when going forward. 

I still haven’t.  I’ll probably just delete them.

The original plan for Dragon Core was to have four novels and though I toyed with the idea of a fifth one as a finale to the series I ended up pivoting when I fell in love with a few of my characters from Cauldron of the Gods.

I’m really happy with how Shadow of the Gods turned out.  It ended up being a great way to shed a bit of light on the history and cultural norms of shape shifters from Chancery Lumina.  

It also provided another opportunity to pivot.

Inspiration.  Redemption gave me a chance to provide insight into the Scathe.

Who are the Shadow and where do they fit in the universe?

It was a lot of fun to write for a number of reasons including a “What if it did happen just not that way?  as part of the premise.  More, it allowed me to draw from a real life experience.

I knew from that day in Diamond Head that I would someday use that experience in a book.  Turns out it will appear in at least two, in multiple series.

Writing Redemption also challenged me in that I had to take a character who was “difficult” in another book in the series and make her likable as a main character.

Two At Once.  There’s an additional twist to this writing in reverse.  It isn’t mentally writing a new story while finishing the current one.  This time I’m writing books 6 and 7 in the series before books 4 and 5 are finished.

And 7 is going to be finished – mentally speaking – before 6.

This is new for me.  I’m guessing it will be difficult not to publish whatever I finish first.  But this would mess up the order of things, so I’ll forebear.  In the meantime, The Day After, a Dragon Core story, will be available in Autumn 2021.

Stay tuned.

ALIEN LOVER: WHAT DO I CALL THEE?

One of the challenges I’ve had writing interspecies relationships has been how to refer to the object of one’s desire.

To be honest, the challenge is irrespective of genre.

It didn’t help that the following were no go’s:

  • Partner

It’s too sterile.  When I hear the word partner I think of business, not “business.” 

  • Boyfriend

I once dated a guy who told me he wasn’t comfortable being referred to as a boyfriend since he wasn’t a boy.  

He was in his thirties.

When I sat down to write Port In a Storm, I considered that  rock musician Clint Malek had seen a lot of life.  Though he hadn’t lost his sense of fun or adventure he was too mature to be called a boy.  

It was while writing Metatron’s Army I realized I needed a term I could live with.

  • Lover

Christine refers to the partners she’s had intimate relations with as lovers.  I like this term.  It’s edgy enough to reflect she enjoys the physical aspects of sex as well as the fact the scenes are explicit.

As time went on I found myself challenged by more than terminology.

How do you deal with a teen romance when one of the characters is 719 years old?

I needed to be creative.

From Shadow of the Gods

I had a lot of fun with Cayden and Mica, being sure to give perspective from each.

Cayden:

When he saw the very plain white bra that screamed virgin, he groaned.  He was going to kill Jake McLachlan, hunt him down in his next life, and kill him again.

Mica:

“Hello, Mica.  Okay if I come in?”

“Yeah, sure.”

He stopped after two steps.  “You okay?”

“Yeah, fine.”  Just feeling a little awkward.  How did one act after baring their breasts to -?   Well, he wasn’t a perfect stranger anymore, was he?

Age and species difference weren’t the only challenges I had with in the Dragon Core Series.  Due to a unique set of circumstances Lage, Lucus, and Clare have an interesting love triangle.

This is fully detailed in Cauldron of the Gods.

Terminology wasn’t the only challenge with Metatron’s Army either.  Try writing sex when a character is of a species that will die if they experience high emotion. 

Such as love or lust.

There are a variety of interesting relationships thanks to the number of species and complexity of plot.

Not to mention Cirhce was born in one universe, grew up in another only to later return to her home universe.

I did take time to highlight concerns of characters crossing dimensions and sexual cultures.

There are more than just human-Vetrian relationships in the series.

And there are times I  need to set terminology aside and simply write around the challenge.

From Dragon Core

“Cayden,” she said softly stepping close, “it makes sense you’re nervous.  This is your home, your place of business.  It’s you.  Or at least it’s a side of you I haven’t seen and – it’s different with me, right?  I’m your -.”  She frowned.  “What am I?”

God, he loved her for understanding.  “You’re mine,” he replied then kissed her.

From Metatron’s Army

From Adjudication, this is one of two simultaneous intimacy scenes I had going.

The other is in Promotion, Book 11 in the series.

“Well,” he drawled, drawing a finger over the tattoo, smiling when she shivered.  “I think the waiting is over because after this?  Telling you?  I don’t feel conflicted.”

“Because I understand?”

“Because you know you’re mine.”

“And you don’t share,” she replied, her serious tone belying her amusement.

“Damn straight,” he said then kissed her.  Passionately, the bulge in his pants letting her know he was about to drive the point home.

This article is cross posted on metatronsarmy.com.

BRINGING A STORY TO LIFE: ORGANIZE

A lot of work goes into a creative career.

It’s not just about creating.

Business basics aside one of the more challenging aspects of being a writer is how to organize what you produce.  

It’s more than choosing a genre.

The literary industry has evolved over the centuries and while it is easy to follow in the footsteps of those who came before, when it comes to organizing it doesn’t always translate.

Especially in a time of authors producing in multiple formats in multiple genres and sub-genres.

When I started on this career path I intended to publish fiction.  Thanks to a mysterious illness I went nonfiction first then circled back to fiction.  

But I do both.

An additional organizational challenge is the fact I write multiple genres.

Paranormal and sci-fi. 

Last November I decided to focus on the organizational aspects of my career.  Nine months later I’m still working on it.

Scifimagick.  This moniker marked the beginning of organizational refinement and while I will be elaborating in the near future I do have clues on elizabethmaxim.com as to how it all comes together.

Where Sci-Fi Meets Passion.  I have multiple sci-fi series, each different and unique.  What ties them together are characters driven by passion, complete with intimacy.

Including interspecies intimacy.

Where Passion Meets the Paranormal.  They say write what you know.  As a psychic I have long had a passion for the paranormal.  This allowed me to explore the world of paranormal fiction from multiple subgenres and though my style and subgenre choices have evolved, my passion for the paranormal has not waned.

Choose A Path.  Visitors to elizabethmaxim.com can explore my work by following one of the two paths with each of those paths diverging further.  As I have plenty of stories in the queue, additional paths through the maze will be available for exploration soon.

I will be making tweaks to elizabethmaxim.com in the coming weeks.  These tweaks will reflect the continuing organizational refinement and are meant to make things easier for readers and visitors.

Stay Tuned.

BRINGING A STORY TO LIFE: WHO WRITES WHO?

Listening to the Police Spirits in the Material World – on vinyl and contemplating a twist in my creative career.

It’s fun adding “favorite vinyls” back into a collection I gave away in the 90s after trading for CDs.  More interesting is discovering Aaron and I are in agreement with “must have” vinyls like Elton John’s Yellow Brick Road.

Who Made Who.  Okay, music on the mind.  Cheesy movie but the AC/DC Soundtrack to Maximum Overdrive is pretty awesome in my opinion and while that movie considered the question of which came first the robot chicken or the tech egg I’m dealing with an observation of a similar yet parallel – as in universe – consideration.  

Does the author write the story or the story choose the author?

This question occurred to me as I considered the twisty turny way The Day Before has come into being  

  • Started as an image that appeared on my mental screen
  • Observation allowed me to get a feel for the character which led to who, what, when, where, why
  • Fingers to keyboard and watch as 50 words explodes to 25000 with an acceleration rate that started somewhat slow then exploded up – or out depending how you visualize.
  • Realize that in spite of my initial thoughts if not beliefs on what this story was – it wasn’t that simple.
  • Follow the trail of breadcrumbs.

Follow the Leader.  Ironically, the image that presented itself early on was a soldier standing waiting for someone to catch up to him as he stood on a path.  I stepped back to notice the environment he was in and who it was he was waiting for while taking his measure as to why he was waiting for the individual known as a retrieval and more to the point – who was he that he was the one leading?

And why him?

Turns out this character – Cai Ranger – is not only a guide for another character he is the guide for the author.  

I began the story confident it would be a success even though I hadn’t planned it.  As I went along I saw numerous possibilities for where it would fit in my catalogue, numerous directions the plot could twist and turn, and numerous branches it could extend for future books.  And yet…

It soon became apparent that somehow the story had – like a manifestation – managed to show up in my world in a manner that showed me the story – not the writer – is in charge of this excursion.

A central theme behind manifestation is you visualize something – feed it energy – and it outmanifiests itself.  In this case – the story “manifested” into my creative studio – the place where body mind and spirit come together to create.

What’s Happening?  Though I was happily working along producing and satisfied with where things were headed I got a strong urge to step aside and read a book that showed up in my sphere one day.

Unsurprisingly there was a seemingly cosmic message delivered along with a much needed break.

This action led to another which led to another and suddenly I realized the story itself seemed to be leading me along a path to completion.  

Including where it will fit in the catalogue – Dragon Core.

It made me stop and wonder – do we pull from the well of creativity or does it drag us into itself?

Do we dream the dream or does the dream dream us?

BRINGING A STORY TO LIFE: THE DOTS CONNECT THEMSELVES

After taking time to bring a couple of visions to life in the form of new t-shirts I was setting up to work on The Day Before when I made a decision which circled back to an action taken earlier that ended up being like a tap on the shoulder from the universe saying, “How’s this for help?”

Help I hadn’t asked for but now see I definitely needed.

I did take time to just chill today but I truly am happiest when I writing/creating. 

Folding Back on Itself.  As a follow on to a conversation about Neil Young and Crazy Horse last night, Aaron sent a link to an article on Nils Lofgren this morning.  While reading it I saw an ad pop up for a musician.  The title intrigued me so I typed it into a document with the idea I would circle back around to it at some point and check it out.

I often jot titles of groups or songs down to circle around to later and typically that later is weeks from the date I jotted it down.

Right after bringing the manuscript for the latest Dragon Core story up I decided to check out the artist’s new album.

I was that intrigued by the title – Where the Guitar Meets the Forest.

I launched iTunes and – the album wasn’t listed.  However, several other songs were available so I clicked on a few.  One jumped out not because of the song’s title but because the lyrics perfectly fit the essence of the book I’m working on!  The song, 1000 Days, reminded me that I hadn’t yet set up a playlist for this book and while that isn’t technically necessary it often helps put me in a frame of mind for a scene or a character.

In this case the song is helping with two scenes, the one I’m working on and one that’s toward the end of the book.

I couldn’t help but think of the breadcrumbs that had to be laid in order for me to circle around to something I needed yet didn’t know I needed.

  • Trip to Record Store to land a gem that led to an interesting and somewhat passionate conversation about Neil, CSNY, and a number of other issues intertwined over the decades.

The guy just got the Neil album in. It wasn’t there when Aaron visited 24 hours earlier.

  • Aaron deciding to send me the link and then putting a bit of pressure on me to read it.

It was one of those things I was going to look at later but he kept talking about it – read an excerpt – so I read it.

  • Seeing an album with an intriguing title while reading the article.

I normally ignore ads.

  • Deciding to look up the artist then deciding to check out her other work when the album in question didn’t show up.

The first couple of songs I listened to turned me off to the point I was going to give up but something told me to try other songs.  Glad I followed that instinct!

  • Choosing the song that ended up being a perfect match for what I needed for the scene I’m working on.

It helps me think ahead and keep to the theme line I’ve got going, something that isn’t always easy when you have multiple plot lines going.

Secret Messages.  As a final note I can consider that there are multiple messages in these events.  In taking time out to put this article together I ate into time I might have spent on the novel.

It’s time for dinner.

My guess?  Someone’s telling me I need more chill time.

Happy 4th of July!

The new t-shirts are on my store under the EM logo.

CH-CH-CH-CH-CHANGES

I want to take a moment to thank readers for their patience while I’m turning a tanker mid-voyage.

Tweaking my career.

I have endeavored to communicate every step of the way but the truth is my career is not and has never been static.

One of the major reasons I went into tech was because I have a passion for always learning, always improving.  Always exploring.

Just as with my career in tech my career as a writer which literally started when I penned my first fiction piece at age 6** has and will continue to evolve.

I’m pleased to share the following:

To better serve readers I have decided in lieu of a newsletter to do what I call Data Sheets.  These will be publications dedicated to very specific nonfiction topics that will be available for purchase.  Information will include my ongoing work with EMF Sensitivity, with a rather interesting twist:  Psi energy and GMFs are more esoteric forms of EMFs but are EMFs.  As a psychic I have gained incredible insight into these topics and look forward to sharing my observations.  As with all my nonfiction my audience will include those who are what I term sole practitioners of life and those who prefer to work with advisors.

I am making minor adjustments to my websites.  This is to make things easier for readers and those seeking specific information, including what goes into being a paranormal fiction writer.

I will provide additional information in the weeks and months to come, including video material.  

I’m also continuing to write.

Stay tuned!

**Won an award too!

WRITING: IN THE HEAT OF IT

Taking a break from The Day Before in what locals call unusual heat and as most houses don’t have AC (including this one) finding creative ways to address challenges.

You know it’s hot when your champagne glass needs its own ice bucket.

As uncomfortable as it is, it’s not nearly as bad as what I’ve dealt with over the years.

  • Michigan

Grew up without central air.  Add humidity to heat and you get something called the heat index.  Plenty of nights sleeping on top of the covers.

  • Louisiana 

School lets out in May for a reason

  • Arizona

The day Aaron and I unloaded the moving truck?  It was 118.

The day we moved into the Fort Collins house? Minus 18 – real not wind chill.

A balm to it all aside from the trees and cooler night temperatures that allow for a comfortable sleep is the fact we recently invested in an Audio-Technica turntable with Boston Acoustics Pre-Amp and ELAC speakers.  While Aaron was eager to grab up Neil Young and Radiohead LPs- though I surprised him with a Ray Manzarek collectible – I opted for the following as my first repurchases

  • Emerson Lake and Palmer Works I
  • This is The Moody Blues
  • Beatles Rubber Soul
  • ELO Time

I grew up on 8 tracks and vinyl, graduated to cassettes including those I recorded from vinyl, then CDs, and eventually streaming.

I eschew satellite because thanks to compression ratios, guys sound like they have their speedos too tight.  No thanks.

We’ll definitely be adding to the collection including Bob Seger’s Live Bullet and Elton John’s Yellow Brick Road, though we won’t be replacing everything we listen to.

I’m making great progress with The Day Before which will fit nicely into the Dragon Core series and is more fantasy than sci-fi.  As always I have plenty in the queue and will be updating as appropriate.

In the meantime, keep cool and

Stay tuned

REMASTER AND NEW PROJECT

Happy Father’s Day and Happy Summer Solstice!  I hope everyone enjoys the day.

Though I’ll be enjoying some summer sun I will also be working on The Day Before, a Dragon Core piece that was unplanned.

I was going along minding my own writer’s business, finishing a Remaster Project when images from the story began popping into my mind.  Intrigued I closely examined them, found I like what I saw and decided to move it to the front of the queue.

I’d originally been considering one of three other Dragon Core stories and at first this story didn’t have a particular place to go.

It could be a stand-alone or part of another series depending how I spun it.

It stands out in one way that brought me a lot of happiness.  It popped up.  

It’s been a few years since an unplanned book just popped into my mind.

Front of the Line.  I give preference to these stories as they come directly from my unconscious.

Or wherever that creative processing center exists in the universe.

As these stories tend to become a living energy inside my writer’s soul making them a joy to work on I give them priority.

Metatron’s Legacy was like that.  I hadn’t even finished Pin, Book 9 in the Metatron’s Army series and the story just popped up.  I got it written in a couple of weeks then turned back to the MA series.

Remaster.  Speaking of Metatron’s Army, I recently concluded what a friend dubbed the Remastering Project.  Like musicians will do with previously released albums I took time to go over the books in the series with a fine-toothed comb.

I have future plans and projects for this series but I’m happy to work on other stories for now.

Stand Alone V. Series.  I have noticed that though I’ve tied some of my books to a series they could easily be a stand-alone read.

Metatron’s Army has some of each.  Metatron’s Legacy could be stand-alone though it would have many spoilers for the series as it takes place some twenty years after Adjudication.

To this end I’m going to identify books that fall into this category on my website.

Coming Soon.

In the meantime, I’m happy back in writing mode and have a number of projects in the queue including a newsletter.

I will provide details as and when they are available.

Stay tuned.

METATRON’S ARMY UPDATE UPDATE

Taking a brief break from read/edit on Positional Play, 4th in the Metatron’s Army series.  

I reread each manuscript, correcting or updating as appropriate then, with the story fresh in memory, write up a blog summarizing what went into that particular chapter of the sci-fi epic.

The blogs are posted on metatronsarmy.com under Alerts on the Explore menu.

In addition to correcting errors that slipped through I’ve added previews of subsequent books to the end of the current one.

Though books 1 and 2 have been submitted for update and 3 will go in this afternoon, it will be a bit before all books are completely updated.

I will post a blog entry letting readers know when all the updated books are available for download.

On a side note:  After in-depth and ongoing EMF Sensitivity research I was able to discover the root cause of migraines plaguing me for the past 3 plus decades.  I also discovered the cure.

It validated work released in my books on the subject.

I will be providing more information in the not-too-distant future in the inaugural newsletter.

Stay tuned.

CONTEMPLATION: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WRITER

Note:  This will be a bit on the lengthy side

With the recent release of two books and the launching of a new website I decided to take a break in part to rest the mind body and spirit and in part to evaluate projects in the queue.  

While I consider these projects in terms of whether they are in line with my goals (where I’m going), part  of the evaluation includes seeing where I’ve been.

I’ve mentioned that at times my life has resembled a Pacman game where unforeseen and/or unexpected circumstances have driven a need for change.  Sometimes the change is rapid, other times at a pace that allows for planning.

This is one of those times as this is a continuation of a change that started years ago and therefore allows for planning.

Ironically, it’s because there is time to strategize I feel a bit frustrated, as if things are taking too long.  To counter this I remind myself the changes are on par with turning a massive cargo ship. 

It takes time to change course.

I also remind myself why it is I’ve made these changes.  

I thought I’d share a bit of the method to the madness with readers.

In the beginning.  I’ve known I wanted to be a writer  since I was three.

Declared it to my family and anyone else who would listen.

While I worked toward this goal I enjoyed a satisfying and successful career in tech.

I worked with a couple of other writers, one of which left after her debut book became a huge success.

It’s Time.  A number of factors contributed to the timing of leaving corporate to focus on writing.

  • Earned a doctorate in a non-tech discipline

When I finished the dissertation?  I felt a tremor in the force and knew my days in corporate were numbered.

I didn’t know exactly what would be next.  I just knew change was upon me.

  • Industry headwinds and a company merger left me frustrated and restless

I didn’t feel challenged and I was tired of the bureaucracy.

 How many times can leadership realistically use the phrase secular headwinds as an excuse?

Tools of the Trade.  As I’d been working toward this end for several years I’d already done a lot of the foundation work.

  • Took writer workshops with Writers Market
  • Joined a Professional Writers Organization and attended chapter meetings
  • Attended writers conferences
  • Completed a manuscript

 Life Interrupts.  Not long after getting traction we moved to the East Bay, California.  Within weeks of moving into our new house I was sick and unable to write.

Yes, I was pretty upset and I was forced to focus on the illness which, ironically, led to: 

Publish.  Though I’d intended to focus on fiction, my experience with EMF Sensitivity drove me in a different direction.  Knowing there were others who were suffering like I was and that – at the time – there was nothing out there anywhere close to what I’d discovered in terms of remedies and information, I decided to go nonfiction first.

I knew it would be a bit of a challenge finding a publisher.

At this point the US was still denying it was even a condition even though several countries in the world including the UK and Canada, and the WHO all acknowledged it as a real condition.

Change of Plans.  Familiar with the challenges involved with publishing I laid out a plan to find a suitable publisher, believing I would have better luck with a small university press.  After attending a presentation by two literary agents to the Colorado writers group I belonged to, everything changed.

When I talked about my book one of the two agents laughed and said, “Oh, you mean that cell phone thing?”  When I explained that it was about frequency specifics including the ultra low and very low frequencies that come out of fault lines in the hours and days prior to an earthquake, precede thunderstorms, and are emitted by high-tension power lines, and went on to name a variety of other sources as well as the universities around the world – including US universities (Stanford and University of Arizona) that document their findings – she stopped laughing but I’d seen the writing on the wall.

I received a number of emails from people who found my website who were either suffering themselves or were close to someone who was. They begged me for the book which wasn’t quite finished.

Some even offered to pay me to sell it to them early which I wouldn’t because it wasn’t ready.  I was still researching, still learning, and still working with individuals I was using as case studies.

A short time later I released Riding the Waves: Diagnosing, Treating, and Living with EMF Sensitivity.

Back to the Start.  I’d always wanted to focus on fiction and historical fiction in particular though paranormal fiction definitely held my interest.  Having gone through the process of producing a book I figured I would keep on going with a focus on fiction.

That Smashwords had just upended the publishing industry definitely swayed my decision.  

Especially given that in the numerous subsequent bankruptcies by publishing houses, authors lost their manuscripts as well as the ability to regain their rights so they could shop them elsewhere because they were considered the property of the publishing companies and therefore part of the bankruptcy settlements.

Two Lane Highway.  For the next several years I alternated fiction and nonfiction works.

I released a number of books relating to EMF Sensitivity – the cause and the cure as well as a number of remedies – and several paranormal fiction novels.

Stop and Assess.  Though I’d considered shifting away from nonfiction earlier, it wasn’t until 2016 that I truly saw it was time.

EMF Sensitivity is a broad condition that involves far more than sensitivity to technology EMFs.  I’d shared the cause and cure of the condition along with a great deal of information on remedies and troubleshooting.  I was ready to move on to a different aspect of EMFs.

Geologic, atmospheric, and frequencies difficult to quantify though Lynne McTaggart, Russell Targ, and a number of others had definitely done a fair amount of research.

Two Lane Highway 2.  I had just begun work on Metatron’s Army, a science fiction saga and though I saw the light at the end of that tunnel in terms of finishing the saga, I knew I would be publishing more works that fell under the sci-fi genre.

I planned on continuing the strategy of alternating only I would alternate between paranormal fiction and science fiction.

Psi Avalanche.  Shortly after making the decision to step away from nonfiction the paranormal side of my life heated up, so much so that between writing paranormal fiction and living paranormal reality, I felt I was drowning.  I needed a break.

I revamped my website to reflect this change though I kept the paranormal fiction available for purchase.

Two Lane Highway 3.  The decision to take a break from paranormal fiction went far in relieving the stress of the psi avalanche.  At the same time, I truly do have a passion for the paranormal.  So, after putting to use much of what I learned doing research into the more esoteric EMFs I was able to return to the plan of alternating genre strategy.

And I even found a way to weave a bit of nonfiction in as well, with the release of Lessons From the Edge: An Author’s Guide to Metatron’s Army and the launch of metatronsuniverse.com.

The Road Ahead.  Though some projects are still evolving I plan to continue to write novels of both science and paranormal fiction.  I also foresee more nonfiction in the future though I’m still working out the details.

I am considering how to share what I’ve learned about the esoteric side of EMFs.

I am currently working on multiple novels and plan to update readers on release dates as appropriate.

Stay tuned!